IMDb > Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 45 | slideshow) Videos
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence -- Criterion trailer

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   8,515 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 71% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Laurens Van der Post (novel)
Nagisa Ôshima (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 September 1983 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Java, 1942 - A clash of cultures, a test of the human spirit.
Plot:
In 1942 British soldier Jack Celliers comes to a Japanese prison camp. The camp is run by Yonoi, who has a firm belief in discipline... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 wins & 6 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(55 articles)
Veteran Sales Guru Vic Bateman Dies
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 5 June 2014, 10:22 AM, PDT)

Av Pictures' Vic Bateman dies
 (From ScreenDaily. 5 June 2014, 8:45 AM, PDT)

Review: The Railway Man
 (From Slackerwood. 25 April 2014, 7:30 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
One of the finest war films ever made. See more (64 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

David Bowie ... Maj. Jack 'Strafer' Celliers

Tom Conti ... Col. John Lawrence

Ryûichi Sakamoto ... Capt. Yonoi

Takeshi Kitano ... Sgt. Gengo Hara (as Takeshi)

Jack Thompson ... Group Capt. Hicksley
Johnny Okura ... Kanemoto (as Johnny Ohkura)

Alistair Browning ... De Jong
James Malcolm ... Celliers' Brother
Chris Broun ... Celliers aged 12
Yûya Uchida ... Commandant of Military Prison
Ryûnosuke Kaneda ... President of the Court
Takashi Naitô ... Lt. Iwata
Tamio Ishikura ... Prosecutor
Rokko Toura ... Interpreter
Kan Mikami ... Lt. Ito
Yûji Honma ... Pfc. Yajima
Daisuke Iijima ... Cpl. Ueki
Hideo Murota ... New Camp Commandant
Barry Dorking ... Chief Doctor
Geoff Clendon ... Australian Doctor
Grant Bridger ... P.O.W. Officer
Richard Adams ... P.O.W
Geoff Allen ... P.O.W
Michael Baxter-Lax ... P.O.W.
Mark Berg ... P.O.W
Marcus Campbell ... P.O.W
Colin Francis ... P.O.W
Richard Hensby ... P.O.W
Richard Hoare ... P.O.W
Martin Ibbertson ... P.O.W
Rob Jayne ... P.O.W
Richard Mills ... P.O.W
Mark Penrose ... P.O.W
Arthur Ranford ... P.O.W
Steve Smith ... P.O.W
Stephen Taylor ... P.O.W
Richard Zimmerman ... P.O.W
Ian Miller ... English Guard
Don Stevens ... Pastor
Yoichi Iijima ... Japanese Soldier
Satoshi Ito ... Japanese Soldier
Masaki Kusakabe ... Japanese Soldier
Kunihide Kuruma ... Japanese Soldier
Hiroshi Mikami ... Japanese Soldier
Akihiro Masuda ... Japanese Soldier
Tokuhisa Masuda ... Japanese Soldier
Takeshi Nagasawa ... Japanese Soldier
Takashi Odashima ... Japanese Soldier
Masanori Okada ... Japanese Soldier
Shoetsu Sato ... Japanese Soldier
Rintaro Shibata ... Japanese Soldier
Masamichi Shibasaki ... Japanese Soldier
Kaname Shimura ... Japanese Soldier
Kenzo Shirahama ... Japanese Soldier
Hisao Takeda ... Japanese Soldier
Hidenobu Togo ... Japanese Soldier
Atsuo Yamashita ... Japanese Soldier
Heiwa Yoshihara ... Japanese Soldier
Takeshi Yu ... Japanese Soldier
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rex Wilmshurst ... P.O.W.

Directed by
Nagisa Ôshima 
 
Writing credits
Laurens Van der Post (novel "The Seed and The Sower")

Nagisa Ôshima (screenplay) &
Paul Mayersberg (screenplay)

Produced by
Terry Glinwood .... executive producer
Masato Hara .... executive producer
Joyce Herlihy .... associate producer
Geoffrey Nethercott .... executive producer
Eiko Oshima .... executive producer
Larry Parr .... associate producer
Jeremy Thomas .... producer
 
Original Music by
Ryûichi Sakamoto 
 
Cinematography by
Tôichirô Narushima (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Tomoyo Oshima 
 
Production Design by
Shigemasa Toda 
 
Art Direction by
Andrew Sanders 
 
Makeup Department
Antony Clavet .... makeup supervisor
Glenis Daly .... hair stylist
Bryony Hurden .... makeup assistant
Robern Pickering .... chief makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jonty Barraud .... second assistant director
Geoffrey Hill .... third assistant director
Lee Tamahori .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Masaru Arakawa .... set dresser
Lyn Bergquist .... property buyer
Kyoichi Hashimoto .... construction manager
Tetsuya Hataya .... assistant art director
Trevor Haysom .... stand-by props assistant
Ryoichi Kamon .... construction technician
Masaaki Kobayashi .... construction technician
Bryan McDonald .... property assistant
Kazumasa Nomura .... assistant art director
Chris Paulger .... stand-by props
Pam Sebold .... property assistant
Yutaka Wakase .... construction technician
Shoichi Yasuda .... property master
 
Sound Department
Eugene Arts .... boom operator
Akira Honma .... dubbing mixer
Akira Honma .... sound effects
Mikio Mori .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Mike Westgate .... sound recordist
 
Special Effects by
Kevin Chisnall .... special effects supervisor
 
Visual Effects by
Shulamit Levin .... digital restoration (2007 restored version)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Rick Allender .... clapper loader
Ian Beale .... electrician
Dennis Cullen .... grip
Tex Foot .... generator operator
Ken George .... still photographer
Brian Harris .... key grip
Don Jowsey .... best boy
Geoff Maine .... electrician
Warren Mearns .... gaffer
Brendon Mune .... electrician
Jeff O'Donnell .... grip
Ian Philp .... electrician
Andy Roelants .... focus puller
Hiroaki Sugimura .... camera operator
Takashi Ueno .... still photographer
 
Casting Department
Diana Rowan .... casting: New Zealand
Takashi Ueno .... casting: Japan
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Norman Forsey .... wardrobe assistant
Leslie Gilda .... wardrobe assistant
Kazuo Matsuda .... wardrobe master
Christine West .... wardrobe supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Kimie Kawagishi .... negative cutter
Kenichi Takashima .... assistant film editor
 
Transportation Department
Robin Allen-Paris .... transportation manager (as Robin Allen)
 
Other crew
Vivien Bridgewater .... production secretary
Sevilla Delofski .... assistant to producer
Didi Dickson .... interpreter
Mitsue Fujita .... assistant production accountant
Ralph Gardiner .... armorer
Tony Hedges .... production accountant
Margaret Hilliard .... production coordinator
Raijin Nakahata .... continuity
Lynne Newport .... assistant production accountant
Susan Nicholas .... nurse
Roger Pulvers .... assistant to director
Roger Pulvers .... dialogue coach
Takashi Shirai .... location manager
Kuniko Usui .... production assistant
Kansai Yamamoto .... concept designer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" - Australia (DVD box title), Australia (DVD box title), International (English title) (DVD box title)
See more »
Runtime:
123 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
First made-for-Western audiences film directed by Nagisa Ôshima.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: In the final scene in the prison cell, the cross belt of Lt Col Lawrence's Sam Browne is fitted back to front.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Sgt. Gengo Hara:[in Japanese] Wake up, Lawrence.
Colonel Lawrence:[in Japanese] What is it? Why so early, Sergeant Hara?
Sgt. Gengo Hara:[in Japanese] Hurry up!
Group Capt. Hicksley:What does he want?
Colonel Lawrence:[in English] I'll find out?
Sgt. Gengo Hara:[in Japanese] What?
Group Capt. Hicksley:You don't have to take orders from this man, you know, Lawrence.
Colonel Lawrence:Well, I'm the liaison officer, so I'm liaising.
Sgt. Gengo Hara:[in Japanese] What did he say?
[...]
See more »
Soundtrack:
Forbidden ColoursSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
53 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
One of the finest war films ever made., 31 October 2003
Author: monkeypunch from Nova Scotia

I first saw this on IFC one night and was enthralled by it. Apparently there are two versions of the film, one with english subtitles and one without. I saw the version without the subtitles. See the film like this put you in the position of the prisoners, not understanding what is being said around you, and having to rely on translators, who in a prison camp were few. The film starts off with Japanese icon Takeshi Kitano walking into a hut and waking up Col. Lawrence (played by Tom Conti). Lawrence's superior protests this and Sgt. Hara (Kitano) yells something to him in Japanese. While walking out of the hut The superior (don't recall his name but he was played by Jack Thompson) orders another soldier to follow him, Hara protests and uses the scabbard of his sword and hits him in the eye, Hara walks out and Thompson yells "B**tards!" (or something similar).

We then see Lawrence following Hara and then Ryuichi Sakamoto's beautiful, eerie music starts off the opening credits. I won't dive any deeper into the plot, as one should witness it for themselves. The film shows us how the prisoners and the guards are not all that different, they both view themselves as being right, when at one point in the film some one says no one is right in war. The film also shows us the physical and the mental abuse the prisoners had to live with day in and day out.

Besides dealing with the war it also shows how man deals with events from the past as far as ones childhood, But in this film it actually works, not like in countless others, and you do feel attached to the characters.

A lot has been said about David Bowie's performance as Major. Jack Celliers, who despite the title of the film is the lead character and does an excellent job portraying a burnt out commando with a past he is afraid to face.

Shortly after seeing the unsubbed version, I saw the subbed version. Which is good in its own right, but I feel the film doesn't have the same impact if you know what is going to happen at every corner, now about half of the film is in Japanese for those with patience it pays off. By not knowing whats going on it puts you in the position of the prisoners themselves.

The film is a beautiful, tragic look at the atrocities man commits to himself. I encourage film and WW II buffs looking for something different to give it a chance. Another unseen by many gem directed by Nagisa Oshima. ****/****

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (64 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Where was the budget for COMPLETE subtitles? fsb_mc
What Exactly Happened to His Brother? scndform
Celliers: British or Australian? Desert-Djinn
'Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence! gubar
This film Msubills
Beware the UK Bluray/Dvd. shazgwinn
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
To End All Wars The Bridge on the River Kwai Empire of the Sun The Great Raid Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.